Thursday, June 30, 2011

Territorial Dogs...

Some dogs are a bit protective of their cars. On the way home yesterday this happened to me.

The Blue Heeler was hanging out of the passenger window of a big old truck. The truck was lifted and had big wheels on it so the dog was a little above my head. There was another cyclist in the intersection before I got there, and he had scooted as far forward as he safely could, past the white stop lines at the traffic lights. I waited behind the raving loony dog and didn't take off until the truck was gone.

Reminded me of when I went overseas and my brother looked after Bender for a while. He had Bender in the car and was driving down to visit my folks. The police pulled him over, and the cop leaned in to the window to be confronted by a barking Bender. Apparently the cop was quite scared of him!

We don't often have car issues with Bender. We go through fast food drive throughs and he has no problem with those people sticking their arms close to his car. I just don't think Bender liked this particular officer of the law.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In the Lap of Luxury

I know we treat our dogs as humans in many ways, and I think they watch us and learn things - like it's comfortable to recline on the couch with a cushion under your head.

Often when I get up to go for work, Bender gets into bed where I have been lying and rests his head on my pillow!

The dogs do have a lot of privileges in this house, but I tend to forget, until I go and visit a house where the dogs stay outside all the time! It is very common in Australia for people to have pet dogs but not really have them a part of their lives. These dogs never get to go for walks, and get bored and sit in their backyards all day and bark.

Well, it's that time of the evening. Time to take the pampered ones on their stroll around the neighbourhood. The devil dog has started to sing to me again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sibling Love

The dogs have been enjoying the way I rearranged the house for Barbie's Dancing with the Doggie Stars routine.

I went shopping at K-mart on the weekend. I don't go to K-mart often because it requires riding up a rather steep hill, and then negotiating a car park full of rubber-burning feral locals. It was a little bit wet too, which ensured there were a few vehicles deliberately losing traction and fishtailing in the wet. What happened to the old code that if you can't light 'em up in the dry, you have no right to in the wet?

Anyway K-mart sells a variety of things. I went to look for some cheap sporting attire, and some cheap bike bits (a $3 bell and $8 kickstand for Nic's bike, and a $18 bike computer for mine). I just happened to see a bin full of dog squeakies shaped like junk food. I selected a burger for Bender's fat mouth, and a hot dog for Barbie's skinny one.

I then gave them the toys and sat back to watch what happened.

I have taken photos of them playing tug-of-war with their toys in the loungeroom before, so I decided a video would be better this time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Barbie the Terror

Barbie can be quite vocal at times. On this occasion she is asking for her walk. She also does this if we are late with her dinner. It is a way of motivating her human servants.

She has a quite different voice when she is outside and wants to come in though. She manages to sound much more pitiful and tortured.

Anyway, turn up the sound and see if your houndies sing along!

Simon's Cat

I have been on youtube a lot lately, watching the entries for Honey's Dancing with the Doggie Stars Competition. Anyway I often browse youtube's recommendations to be watched and I came across Simon's Cat.

This cat is like all of the hyper and destructive elements of Frou & Mittens combined.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Appreciating the Rainy Days

It's winter, and we need the rain as we have been in a drought and the dams are all nearly empty, but it seems like it has already been colder and wetter than last winter. It has rained every day this week, and I've been on my 'rain bike' with it's fenders and cheap plastic seat and pedals which will be blasted with sand.

The dogs don't seem to notice that it's cold, and Bender persists in poking me with his nose even if the rain is hammering down. We didn't go out last night, and Barbie was happy with that - I had worn her out dancing with her. Bender just curled up on the couch and gave me his sad face.

The benefit of the cold is that all of the animals seem to get along better though!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Honey's Dancing with the Doggie Stars!

OK for a bit of background, this video is my inspiration for my costume.... particularly the hair...I couldn't find the awesome pants anywhere though!

I am a child of the 80s, and I still love Cyndi and this song really makes me think of my relationship with my dogs. I know it's supposed to be romantic, but that kind of commitment is very much what it takes to be a dog owner!

Barbie looks a bit flat in this routine - this is because my camera was playing funny buggers and cutting out 30 seconds into the routine, so we had to do it about 7 times. More than enough to wear out a greyhound. I also have to admit that we haven't been training for this. She is asleep right now as I type this while Mittens is trying to attack my wig as it sits on the arm of the couch.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Harnesses and biking....

Barbie has developed a dislike for her WWW harness, so I'm going to have to get her a different style. I put it on her to go running a few months ago and she wouldn't even walk in it. She wasn't a fan of it the first time I put it on her, either, but she seemed to have gotten over it.

Anyone have any suggestions? I walk her in a fat martingale, and have done a bit of 'walking alongside the bike' type training with collar only but I have huge reservations about running her with the bike collar only. I'm thinking that it would probably put less strain on her neck in normal trotting circumstances but a sudden stop wouldn't be very nice. As I am the impatient type I will be checking out the local pet store for options on the weekend but I'm looking for suggestions. I'd say it needs to be as light and soft as possible. I'm not sure exactly what she dislikes about the harness though so that makes it hard to select a different one! I suspect it may have something to do with how it feels under her armpits when she walks. It may have something to do with the very slight tightening action the 'no pull' harness has (it has a small loop at the top where the d-ring is, which pulls maybe a cm of strapping if she pulls on the lead). I might stick Bender's tracking harness on her and see how she reacts to that - it has really broad seat-belt style straps so if she is OK in that then I know it's more about the tightening action.... if she has a problem with that too then it's most likely to be the armpit chafing.

Problem is I can't put his tracking harness on her anywhere in earshot. He hears that velcro and he gets all excited!

I intend on starting Bender's bike training tonight also. I have given this some thought. Bender is a mad man on the leash a lot of the time, so is going to require more deliberate training. If he tugs I have the springs in the walkydog to absorb some of the pull, but the other thing is that I have been riding bikes for the best part of 18 years.... pretty much constantly, and I think that I have the built in balance to counter any pulls he makes instinctively. I have the walkydog on my Bike Friday folder as well which has 20 inch wheels and a low centre of gravity so I think that is in my favour too. I will give it a go tonight and see how well he does.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Last night on our walk, Barbie almost made friends with strange-kitty!

The kitty isn't completely unknown to the dogs, they have seen it before. It is a big white kitty with a medium coat and some ginger spots on it's head. It never runs from the dogs.

Last night we were walking along as usual and Barbie stopped. I turned around to see what she was sniffing and it was white-ginger-kitty! It had it's back arched and was just out of Barbie's reach. Barbie stood, politely wagging her tail at it, like she does with her own kitties. It was curious but suspicious at the same time. It crept closer, but Barbie moved her head, and so it crept back and arched up again. I thought it was going to give Barbie a whack on the nose, but it didn't. They stood there looking at each other for at least a minute before I told Barbie it was time to go, and she turned her head and continued on her walk.

I think Barbie and the kitty will be friends :)
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